U.S. Patent #35

Another of the patents from my day job at Citrix Systems just issued. “Systems and methods of using the refresh button to determine freshness policy,” U.S Patent #8701010. This was from my Web Optimization Period. It was filed in 2007 and only now made it into the light of day.

That makes me either inventor or co-inventor on 35 U.S. patents. See my patents. Sadly, the patent attorneys obfuscated my nice clear description, so the text isn’t a fun read.

When to stop using lights

It’s March 29, and I thought I’d mention that the traditional period for using supplemental light to keep the hens laying is September 1 through March 31. By April 1, the increasing day length makes supplemental light unnecessary.

Farmers traditionally set the day length at 14 hours when using supplemental light. The days aren’t that long on April 1, when measured from sunrise to sunset, but it doesn’t take much light to stimulate laying, so that seems to even things out.

The big boys use a different algorithm: keep the day length constant at whatever it happens to be on Midsummer’s Day at their latitude, meaning that there’s just one night a year when the lights don’t come on at all. Those of us with fewer than a thousant hens probably can’t measure the difference, and the convenience of not messing with lights until September carries some weight. read more...

Raising Chickens for Meat and Profit

It’s been twenty years since Joel Salatin created the grass-fed chicken industry by publishing Pastured Poultry Profit$ in 1993.

The book has many praiseworthy aspects, one of which is that Salatin describes in great detail the methods he was using at the time, and the thinking behind them. Lots of people have copied his methods, with varying degrees of success. (Farming is like that.)

Something unusual happened along the way, and I think it’s something Salatin didn’t expect. Because it’s the only detailed book on the topic, his single example of how to go about raising meat chickens on pasture has been accepted by many as the only way, and sometimes this gets people into jams. read more...